NPR’s Schiller: “We take these calls for defunding very, very seriously”

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Today’s top story in the Daily Caller, the news website founded by former conservative TV pundit and PBS host Tucker Carlson, is headlined “Feeling the Heat.” It reports on NPR President Vivian Schiller’s remarks yesterday at a forum on the future of journalism, convened at St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House. Acknowledging that the new Republican House majority may make good its campaign season threats to “defund NPR,” Schiller explained that NPR receives very little of the federal aid distributed by CPB. “For small stations, and even for large stations, that’s a big chunk of their revenue,” she said, according to the Daily Caller‘s account. “It’s been a critical part of keeping those stations vibrant and, so, we take these calls for defunding very, very seriously.” Audience members questioned Schiller about NPR’s firing of news analyst Juan Williams, the controversial decision that prompted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly to call for an end to federal support for the field. “We have admitted, I have admitted that there were certain aspects of it that we did not handle very well. In fact, there were certain aspects of this we handled badly.” Schiller reportedly went on to criticize the partisan nature of cable news and praise the NPR audience as more intelligent than that of other media outlets.